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Birdseye Views of Far Lands
by James T. Nichols
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While the silver in this mountain is not nearly exhausted by any means, yet it was discovered that deeper down is a mountain of tin. Bolivia has been furnishing more than one-fourth of the world's supply of tin for many years.

On the hills back of the city of Potosi can still be seen the thirty-two lakes or reservoirs that used to furnish water for the city and mines. It took half a century to complete this great ancient water system. The largest of these lakes is three miles in circumference and thirty feet deep. Each lake is surrounded by five sets of walls and two of these reservoirs are sixteen thousand feet above sea level. All this mighty work was done before railroads were ever dreamed of. Only recently a railroad was built into this mining city and many of these abandoned mines are being opened again.

The capital of Bolivia used to be Sucre. In fact, it is still the nominal capital of the republic. Here live many of the wealthy mine owners of the region. The Supreme Court is held here and the new government palace is a stately building. The richest cathedral in Bolivia is here and the image of the Virgin in it is made of solid gold adorned with jewels and is worth a million dollars.

There are nine public parks or plazas in the city of Sucre and through one of these flows two streams of pure water. The one on the north side runs north and finally reaches the Atlantic Ocean through the great Amazon river while the other flows southward reaching the sea through the Rio de la Plata river.

The capital of Bolivia as we know it is La Paz, but only the legislative and executive departments are in this city. Although La Paz is more than twelve thousand feet above sea level it is located in the bottom of a deep canyon. Back of the city is the giant peak of Mount Illimani which pierces the sky at the height of twenty-one thousand feet. While the weather is always warm in the day time it gets very cool at night, sometimes freezing cold. As they have no heating stoves it is very uncomfortable to sit quiet.

The farmers of Bolivia live in little villages as a rule and know but little of the comforts of life. Their houses are built of mud and both people and animals often live in the same room. Their farms have to be irrigated and the people are skilled in this work. The plows used are wooden sticks and generally pulled by oxen. As in other South American countries the land is mostly owned by wealthy men who let it out on shares to common farmers who are generally kept in debt and have but little independence.

The question of fuel for cooking purposes is one of their great problems. As our early settlers on the western plains had to use buffalo chips for fuel, these people use a great deal of donkey and llama dung for the same purpose. They bake their bread in small community ovens that are built something like a large barrel with a dome shaped top. On bread baking day they build a fire of moss, bushes and dry dung and heat the stove oven. Then they remove the coals, put their bread in and when it is baked you may be sure that it does not smell very good.

The great beast of burden in Bolivia is the llama, which looks something like a cross between a camel and a sheep. Like the camel it can go for days without food or drink. It can be turned out and will make its living browsing on coarse grass, moss and shrubs that grow on the mountains. It is an intelligent animal and if loaded a little too heavily will lie down and refuse to budge until the load is lightened.

The women of these Indian farmers and herders dress rather queerly. They put on many bright colored skirts all of a different hue. As the day grows warmer they remove a skirt showing one of a different hue. They are proud of their skirts and take much pride in showing each other their fine clothing.

These women too are nearly always at work. If they are walking along driving llamas they are working as they walk winding wool into yarn or knitting some garment. With juices from plants the yarn is colored and by means of a loom which any woman among them can make they weave this yarn into a kind of cloth.

In Bolivian cities there are large markets to which these Indian women especially resort. On the ground are little piles of fruit, coca leaves and other products. They have no scales and sell by the pile. The gardeners will sell their products of onions, beans, parched corn and all such stuff in this way.

Thus the people of this great inland empire live above the clouds. One of their railroads is a half mile higher than Pike's Peak in places and one of their cities, Aullagus, lacks but a hundred feet of being as high as this. They have four cities more than fourteen thousand feet above sea level, twenty-six above the thirteen thousand foot line, and seventy-three cities above the twelve thousand foot line. Of the one hundred and fifty-one cities in Bolivia most every one is above the eleven thousand foot line. Truly this land is the "Switzerland of South America."



CHAPTER XXV

THE LAND OF MYSTERY—PERU

When we reach the backbone of Peru we are not only above the clouds as in Bolivia, but we are surrounded by mystery. Here can be seen today the ruins of temples that were richer perhaps than any of those of the countries with which we are all so familiar. This article, however, will largely have to do with the Peruvian country as it is today. You could take a map of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, place them all on the map of Peru and have territory left.

The country runs largely north and south, having some fourteen hundred miles of sea coast. In the north is a great desert plain, but in this almost lifeless desert there is a great valley in which is a most interesting city. The name of this city is Piura and it is on a small river bearing the same name. This river is more like the Nile in Egypt than any other river known. Up and down this river are farms and plantations with irrigation ditches leading to fields of rice and grain, sugar cane and cotton as well as other valuable farm products.

But upon the rise of the water in the river depends the life and prosperity of the people. Like the people of Egypt and the Nile, these people look upon this river with feelings of reverence. They have a great feast day for the river. In their spring time when the snows melt the river gradually rises, spreading over the valley bottom and filling all the low places and irrigation ditches with water.

As the time for this rise approaches every traveler from upstream is questioned and on the day the big rise is due the great feast day is proclaimed and the people, generally five thousand or more, march toward the coming tide to meet the water. If there is an abundance of water they are sure of a great harvest. With fife and drum they meet the oncoming flood and go back with it; if it is a great flood they are happy and merry, but if the tide is low they are sad and gloomy for they know that many will be hungry.

It rains here about once in seven years and these are called the seven year rains. Following the showers there is a wonderful burst of life everywhere. Quick growing grasses cover the land with a carpet of green and fragrant blossoms fill the air with sweetness; but in a short time, except where the irrigation ditches reach the land, the entire region once more becomes a yellow, parched desert.

In this valley grows the best cotton that is produced anywhere. It is a well known fact among cotton growers that Piura cotton has a peculiar strength of fiber that makes it sell for nearly double the price of that grown in our southern states. As goats can live where other animals will starve, this valley is also noted for its great goat herds which make their living on the dry mountain sides.

The greatest seaport of Peru is Callao. If the sea were rough this would be a dangerous harbor for all ocean liners must anchor far from the docks as only very small ships can approach them. I counted forty-two ocean liners in the harbor so you can imagine that it is a busy place. These liners represented nearly every sea-faring country on the globe.

The city of Callao has had its ups and downs. Some one has said that the chief product of Peru is revolutions and Callao has had its share of them. Also, nearly every earthquake along the coast gives this city a shaking up. At one time many years ago when the city had a population of some six thousand people there came an earthquake followed by a mighty tidal wave that only left two persons alive. The very site of the city sunk beneath the waves of the ocean and never came up, the present city being built upon a new site entirely.

The short ride from Callao to Lima, the capital city, is interesting. Here one is introduced to the famous "mud fence," as the fences are all made of mud. Little patches of ground are tilled and bananas, pears, oranges, and all kinds of fruit and vegetables as well as corn and other grain grow in abundance. Everything looks ancient. The ground is plowed by oxen hitched to a wooden stick. The mud huts and houses of the farmers are almost as bare of furniture as a hen coop and almost as dirty. It hardly seems possible that people so near the port as well as the capital city could be so far behind the times.

The railroad runs along the Rimac river, but this is nearly dry much of the time, the water being used for irrigating purposes. Everything smells bad and the people are even dirtier than in Chile. Of course, there are some beautiful spots in the country and plazas in the cities, but all this gush about the beauty and loveliness of things in general makes one tired.

I saw more turkey buzzards and vultures in ten minutes in the city of Lima than I ever saw before all put together. At the slaughter house one can see a stream of blood running in the open soil and I suppose the offals are dumped out for the vultures to devour. The Rockefeller Foundation has set apart twenty-five million dollars, so I understand, to be spent in twenty-five Peruvian cities for the purpose of cleaning them up and providing sanitary systems for them. The leaders of this foundation have certainly found an appropriate place to spend money. I have seen four or five of the cities that are to benefit by this appropriation and they all sure do need cleaning up.

In Lima, of course, I went to the great cathedral. Everybody does this for it is about the most outstanding thing to be seen. It is said to be the largest cathedral in South America. The corner stone was laid by the great Pizarro himself in 1535. His bones are in the cathedral now. I saw them. They are in a coffin the side of which is made of glass. The very holes that were made in the bones when they tortured him can be seen. The guide declared that such is the case and of course he would not yarn to a stranger in a sacred church.

The houses in Lima are, as a rule, only one story high. The tops are flat and many of them are almost covered with chicken coops. They say that many a rooster is hatched, grows up to old age and enters the ministry without ever having set foot upon the ground.

The small plaza in front of the cathedral is really beautiful and there are some good substantial buildings around it. The large depot is a modern, well built stately building. The streets are narrow and the shop doors are open to the street. The doors of these shops are corrugated iron and are raised up like the cover of a roll-top desk. Above the shops are the residences of the more well-to-do class. Little balconies are built out over the sidewalk and here the "idle rich" ladies sit and watch the crowds below.

To me a very interesting place was a building that used to be a sort of a place of refuge something like the cities of refuge we read about in the Bible. In the wide door, so they say, there used to be a chain stretched across and any man who could reach this was safe regardless of the crime he had committed. No officers or law could touch him. Of course, he was in the power of the keepers of the refuge. They could enslave him for life or kill him and no law could touch them. At least this is the story told me by a resident of the city.

But the briefest article about Peru should not leave out at least a mention of the wonderful mountain railways of the country. The Central Peruvian railway tracks reach the dizzy height of 15,865 feet above sea level, which is almost a mile higher than the famous Marshall Pass in the Rockies. This railroad too is a standard gauge. To reach this altitude the train passes over forty-one bridges, one of which is two hundred and fifty feet high. It passes through sixty tunnels, the highest one of which is the Galeria tunnel, which is 15,665 feet above the sea.

This railroad, perhaps the most wonderful ever constructed, was built by Henry Meiggs, an American contractor from New York. Some eight thousand men were employed in the construction and in some places in order to gain a foothold to begin their work they had to be swung down from dizzy heights above and held while they cut a safe place in the rocks.

As might be expected many men were killed during the building of this railway. Once a runaway engine crashed into a derrick car on the top of a bridge and the debris can be seen in the valley below to this day. Several Americans lost their lives in this one accident. It is quite remarkable, however, that there has not been a single accident where a life was lost since the construction was completed years ago. This line is two hundred and fifty miles in length and every mile cost a snug fortune. It takes a train almost ten hours to reach the summit and the average rise the entire distance is twenty-seven feet per minute.

Near Callao are some islands which are very interesting to tillers of the soil especially. In passing them I noticed millions and millions of birds. For many centuries these islands have been the nesting places for these sea fowl. Not only have these birds lived and died here but multiplied thousands of seal have come here to breed. The droppings of these millions of birds and animals and the accumulating bodies of the dead have decayed and made a kind of grayish powder. This substance is called guano and it is hundreds of feet thick.

Hundreds of years ago it was discovered that this substance is the best fertilizer known. In the early days the Incas took every precaution to distribute this guano to agriculturists in the country. Districts of this deposit were allotted to certain territories and the boundaries of each district were clearly defined and all encroachments upon the rights of others were severely punished. No one was allowed to go about these islands during the breeding season under pain of death and the same penalty was meted out to any man who killed either birds or animals here.

Of late years millions of dollars worth of this guano have been shipped to all parts of the world. While the islands are closed to shipping during the breeding season and it is thought that many of the birds especially have been frightened away, yet they come in such numbers at times that it is said that the sky is darkened as they fly over.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE WORLD'S GREAT CROSSROAD—PANAMA CANAL

Perhaps the greatest achievement of history, both in length of time of construction and in service to humanity, stands to the credit of the United States. The Panama Canal was dug in less time than it took to build the causeway in Egypt to get the stone from the quarries to where it was wanted for the big pyramid. This canal, too, is wholly an American achievement. It was planned by American brains, constructed by American engineers and with American machinery, and paid for with American gold, and every American has great reason to be proud of it.

We paid the Republic of Panama ten million dollars for the lease on the zone through which the canal passes, and are now paying the same government two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per year to keep them in a good humor. We bought the ground again from individual owners and have agreed to pay Colombia twenty-five million dollars to keep her from raising a racket. We paid the French forty million dollars for the work they did and the machinery they left so the whole thing, lock, stock and barrel, ought to be ours without any question.

It was published on supposedly good authority that some of the machinery we used was purchased from Belgium, that we could not make it in America. While visiting Mr. P. B. Banton, the chief office engineer, some time ago I asked him about this and he said the only machinery Belgium furnished was to the French. We tried to repair and use part of this but it had to be discarded entirely.

We purchased two gigantic cranes to use in the work from Germany, but one of them collapsed and both had to be rebuilt by American machinists before they would do the work they were guaranteed to do. The only parts used in the canal that were not made in America, according to Mr. Banton, are some gigantic screws which were made in Sweden. It so happened at that time that Sweden was the only country that had machinery to make such screws, and while we could have easily constructed such machinery, it was cheaper to get them from Sweden and this was done. After making this statement, Mr. Banton got the drawings and explained them, and later on I saw some of them in the Gatun-Locks. If I remember correctly they are about eight inches in diameter and forty or fifty feet long.

Speaking of drawings and blue prints this official said: "There are more than eighty thousand drawings in this one room." Of course, the original blue prints and complicated drawings of the canal are sealed up in a great bomb-proof vault, kept dry by electricity. Although I had passed through the canal on a ship and rode up and down it on the train it was only after talking an hour with this engineer and then going into the control station tower and watching boats taken through the Gatun lock system, going into the tunnels below and watching the gigantic cog wheels and wonderful machinery, that I began to appreciate the real ingenuity and brain work of this colossal achievement.

On his last voyage to the new world Columbus visited Panama and was told by the Indians that beyond a narrow strip of land was the "Big Water." He sailed up the Chagres river a distance, failed to find it, and died believing that they were mistaken. About ten years later Balboa climbed to the top of a tree not far from where Culebra Cut is located and saw the "Big Water." Four hundred years later almost to the day the water was turned into the canal and thus America united the world's greatest oceans.

After completing the Suez Canal and thus uniting the world's greatest seas, the French people believed they could dig across the Isthmus of Panama, but digging through Culebra Cut thousands of miles from home was much different from digging across the level plain of Suez only a few hundred miles away. A canal without locks is entirely different from one where great ocean liners must be lifted eighty-five feet above sea level.

Then Panama was a jungle, where disease-carrying mosquitoes were swarming in districts where heat was almost unbearable. True, their medical skill was the best and their hospitals of the latest design, but where they cured hundreds thousands died like flies. Added to all these disadvantages was extravagance and waste, greed and graft, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds to say nothing of palaces and princely salaries for officials.

The result was that after spending more than two hundred million dollars of the people's money, the whole scheme collapsed, and the work stopped. De Lesseps himself was arrested, disgraced, and imprisoned and died with a broken heart a little later in an insane asylum. The French had worked seven years, and now for four years not a wheel turned. Then they organized a new company and worked at intervals ten years more until 1903, when we bought them out. During these years a half dozen nations developed projects and made surveys but no digging was done except by the French until we took charge in 1904.

The Canal Zone is a strip of land ten miles wide across the Isthmus of Panama, the distance being about forty miles from shore to shore. It is less than this, however, in a straight line. The canal runs from northwest to southeast, the Atlantic end at the north being about twenty-two miles west of the Pacific end at the south. This seems rather strange but we must remember that the Isthmus is in the shape of the letter S and it so happens that the shortest point runs in the direction named.

Of course it would have been impossible for us to have dug the canal without a tremendous loss of life had it not been for the advance of medical science. Until we took charge this was one of the worst fever-infested districts on the globe. But just about this time it was discovered that the mosquito carries the germ of yellow fever and other contagious diseases. These pests breed in stagnant water and it was discovered that kerosene on the water forms a film on the surface that means death to the newborn mosquito. Then began one of the greatest battles of all history, the fight to eradicate the mosquito pest.

Colonel Gorgas had charge of the forces and he was determined to do the job well. Tracts of the jungle were burned over, ditches to drain stagnant pools were dug, and every barrel was looked after. Hundreds of Negroes with oil cans sprayed almost every nook and corner of the Zone with kerosene. Houses were screened, every case of sickness was looked after, and the result was soon manifest. A mighty victory was won by Gorgas and today the Canal Zone is as healthful as any tropical country on earth. Of course, people criticized and joked about the mosquito brigade, but the colonel went ahead pouring oil upon the water, cleaning up filth, and compelling sanitary measures, paying not the slightest attention to the harping critics.

At the north end of the Zone are the cities of Cristobal and Colon, the latter in Panama. The fact is they are practically one city, the railroad being the dividing line. While Cristobal is clean and beautiful much of Colon is dirty and rum soaked. Somebody said to me: "Colon is that part of the city where you can buy a drink," and it sure looks it.

While it is only about forty miles across the isthmus yet the canal is fifty miles long. The fact is they had to dredge out to deep water which is about five miles at each end. Entering the channel at the north it is about seven miles to the Gatun locks. There are three pairs of these locks and they lift the vessel to Gatun Lake, which is eighty-five feet above sea level. It is twenty-four miles across this lake to Culebra Cut, which extends about nine miles through the hills, and to the first lock on the Pacific side. This lock lowers the ship about thirty feet to Miraflores Lake, which is a little more than a mile in length. Here are two pairs of locks which lowers the ship to sea level and then it is about eight miles or a little more to deep water. Counting all the distance occupied by the locks we have the fifty miles.

Gatun Lake was made by a great dam across the Chagres river. This dam is a stupendous piece of work, being a half mile wide at the bottom, a mile and a half long, and more than one hundred feet high. A gigantic spillway allows the surface water to run over. During the dry season, about four months, the river does not supply enough water to run the locks so Gatun Lake must furnish the supply. This lake at present covers one hundred and sixty-four square miles, and last year it was lowered five feet during the dry season. The land has been purchased for the extension of the lake and the great spillway can be raised twenty feet higher if necessary so that a shortage of water is practically impossible.

Each lock in the canal is a thousand feet long, one hundred and ten feet wide, and the average height about thirty feet, so they hold a tremendous amount of water. Every ship passing through empties two lock chambers full of water into the ocean at each end. It is an interesting fact that at the Atlantic the tide only makes a difference of two and a half feet, at the Pacific side the difference is more than twenty feet. While the low lock gates at the Atlantic side are sixty-four feet high the low lock gates at the Pacific side are eighty-two feet high.

I was permitted to go into the control station tower at the Gatun lock system and see three ships taken through, also into the tunnels below to see the machinery in operation and it is a sight never to be forgotten. To take a ship through these locks the operator sets in motion twice ninety-eight gigantic electric motors and it is all done without an audible word being spoken. Every possible emergency has been provided for. Could an enemy ship by any manner of means get into the canal and undertake to ram the gates it would be helpless as far as any damage is concerned. Mighty chains guard the gates and it is impossible to get the gates closed without these chains being raised to their places. Emergency gates are provided so the water can all be shut off, the locks emptied and repairs made in the bottoms of the lock chambers, if necessary.

At the continental divide the Culebra Cut is almost five hundred feet deep and more than a half mile wide at the top. The channel itself is three hundred feet wide and forty-five feet deep. There have been half a hundred slides and a single one of them brought down an area of seventy-five acres. Think of a seventy-five acre field all sliding in at once, every foot of which had to be dug out!

The worst trouble was when the bottom bulged up from below. Some little time before my visit a large tree came up from the bottom. It had been rolled in by one of those fearful slides and long afterwards came up from the bottom. Somebody has figured out that if all the dirt that has been taken from Culebra Cut was loaded on railroad cars they would, if coupled together, make a train that would reach around the world four times.

The canal cost about four hundred million dollars. The tolls now amount to almost a million dollars a month so it is more than paying expenses. The ship upon which I passed through paid seven thousand dollars toll, but it was one of the largest ships that pass through. Now that the danger from slides is practically over and trade routes are being established it ought to be a paying investment.



CHAPTER XXVII

THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD

A few years ago the editor of one of the great magazines of America sent out a thousand letters to as many scientists and great men scattered among all civilized nations in an effort to get the consensus of opinion as to what might be called the seven wonders of the modern world. A ballot was prepared containing fifty-six subjects of scientific and mechanical achievement and blank spaces in which other subjects might be written. Each man was asked to designate the seven he felt were entitled to a place on the list. He, of course, was not confined to the printed list and could write in others that were better entitled to a place than those on the printed list.

About seventy per cent of these ballots were returned properly marked and the result was most interesting indeed. At once it was discovered that a complete change in human intelligence or judgment has taken place since the ancient Greeks made their list of the seven wonders of the world. Today the standard of measurement as to what should be classed in such a list is service to humanity, while in the old days the standard of measurement was or at least had largely to do with brute force.

It is not surprising, therefore, that wireless telegraphy should have the highest place on the list. Guglielmo Marconi is far more worthy to be remembered than the king who built the great Pyramid in Egypt. This brilliant Italian, when but fifteen years of age was reveling in the dreamland wonders of electricity and when but twenty had the theory practically worked out and his patience and enthusiasm were simply amazing. He actually tried more than two thousand experiments along a single line before he was able to demonstrate the truth of one of his own theories.

No one crosses the Atlantic Ocean these days who is not impressed with the marvels of this wonderful discovery. Through it the seven seas have became great whispering galleries. One of the greatest races the writer ever saw he did not see at all. For three days and nights two great ocean liners raced across the deep and never came in sight of each other at all. Yet every few hours we all knew just which ship was gaining and it was really a most exciting race. A few hours after Roosevelt was shot in Milwaukee I heard the news by wireless although I was on board a ship in the China Sea on the other side of the world.

The telephone was given second place in the list of modern wonders. It is hard to realize that the telephone only dates back to 1875. It was during that year that Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, were making experiments in a building in Boston. Mr. Watson was in the basement with an instrument trying without success to talk with Mr. Bell in the room above. Finally the latter made a little change in the instrument and spoke and Mr. Watson came rushing upstairs greatly excited, saying: "Why, Mr. Bell, I heard your voice distinctly and could almost understand what you were saying."

The next year the imperfect telephone was exhibited at the Centennial in Philadelphia, but for a time it was the laughing stock of most people and hardly anyone ever dreamed that it would ever be more than a mere plaything. One day Dom Pedro, the Emperor of Brazil, who knew Mr. Bell personally, came in. With him was Sir William Thompson, the great English scientist. The emperor was given the receiver and placed it to his ear and was suddenly startled, saying: "My God, it speaks." This amused all, but greatly interested the man of science and thus the telephone was brought into prominence. While at the World's Fair in San Francisco I sat with a receiver and heard a man speaking in New York as plainly as though he were in the next room. Sitting within the sound of the waves of the Pacific, I was connected up with Atlantic City and heard the waves of the Atlantic.

The third largest number of votes were given to the aeroplane and since the birdmen played such a part in the world war these scientists were correct in giving the flying machine a place among the wonders of the modern world. The fourth place was given to Radium, the fifth to Antiseptics and Antitoxines, the sixth to Spectrum Analysis, and the seventh to the marvelous X-Ray. Had eight subjects been called for the Panama Canal would have had a place, for it lacked but eleven votes of tie for seventh place. It can, therefore, be called the eighth wonder of the modern world.

How different were the ideas of men during the days of ancient Greece. It is a remarkable fact that among the seven wonders of the ancient world only one of them was of any real service to humanity. True, one or two of them served as tombs for the dead and one of them was a sort of a pleasure resort, but it proved a curse rather than a blessing. The one of real service was the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria, Egypt. This was a gigantic structure more than four hundred feet high on the top of which a great fire was kept burning at night, thus serving as a lighthouse. The structure was so large at the base and the winding roadway so spacious that it is said a team of horses could be driven to the summit. The entire building has long since disappeared, but while in Alexandria its location was pointed out to me.

In the list of ancient wonders, however, the Pyramids of Egypt were given first place. There are seventy-seven of these pyramids altogether. Three of them are located less than a dozen miles from Cairo, the others being up the river Nile a half day's journey. The largest is known as the Pyramid of Cheops and is nearest Cairo. It covers thirteen acres of ground and is four hundred and fifty feet high. My first sight of it was a disappointment for after all it is nothing but a pile of stone, and seems smaller to the eye than it really is. When one walks along by its side and begins the ascent to the top, however, its immensity begins to grow and impress the mind.

Heroditus, the Father of History, says a hundred thousand men worked on this pyramid at one time and that it took twenty years to build it. It was scientifically and mathematically constructed ages before modern science or mathematics were born. The one who planned it knew that the earth is a sphere and that its motion is rotary. It is said that in all the thousands of years since it was built not a single fact in astronomy or mathematics has been discovered to contradict the wisdom of those who constructed it.

On the north side of the pyramid, about fifty feet up, there is a narrow tunnel that runs down at an angle of twenty-six degrees to the center of the field that forms its base. The tunnel is so true that from the bottom one can see the star, that is near the North Star, which is supposed to have been directly in the north when the structure was built. After you have descended eighty-five feet in this tunnel there is another tunnel that runs up to the center of the structure where there are some large rooms or chambers. The pyramid was supposed to have been built for a tomb and these rooms are called the king's chamber, the queen's chamber, etc. In these rooms there are large mummy cases, but they are empty at the present time. One great satisfaction for me in visiting the pyramids was the fulfilling of a life-long desire to see all that is left of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The third ancient wonder was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. These gardens were in reality a great artificial mountain built upon massive arches. It was four hundred feet high and terraced on all sides and according to historians beautiful beyond description. Not only were beautiful flowers and shrubbery kept growing, but large forest trees as well. On approaching it this great mountain seemed to be suspended or hanging in the air—hence the name. Water was brought from the river and the ruins of these vast waterworks are said to be the marvel of civil engineers even to this day.

It seems that these hanging gardens were built to please the wife of one of the most powerful monarchs of the old days. This queen had been brought up among the hills, and as Babylon was located on a great level plain she was dissatisfied and pined away for the hills and forests of her home land. To please her the king accomplished this mighty work. Today the whole thing, in fact, the entire city of Babylon, is nothing but a pile of ruins. Portions of the city have been excavated, however, and old records have been found in the ruins that throw light on many customs and phases of life in those days. Even the paving brick were stamped with the name of the king and anyone who visits the British Museum in London can see samples of them today.

The next in the list of ancient wonders was the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. It is said that this temple was two hundred years in building. It was more than four hundred feet long and half as wide. The foundation was made earthquake-proof. The temple proper was supported by one hundred and twenty-seven columns which were sixty feet high. Each of these columns was a gift from a king. They tell us that the great stairway was carved from a single grapevine and that the cypress wood doors were kept in glue a lifetime before they were hung on their hinges.

The image on the top of this temple was said to have fallen from heaven, but in reality it was carved from ebony and the men who did the work were put to death so they could not deny its celestial origin. It is said that around this image stood statues which by an ingenious invention could be made to shed tears. Another invention moistened the air in the temple with sweet perfume. The treasures of nations and the spoil of kingdoms were brought here for safe keeping and criminals from all nations fled to this temple, for when they reached it no law could touch them. No wonder that when the preaching of the Apostle Paul interfered with the business of the tradesmen who sold souvenirs of the image that they gathered up a mob and cried out for the space of two hours: "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," and ran the apostle from the city. Today this temple with the city itself is nothing but ruins.

Passing not far from the Island of Rhodes some years ago I tried to at least imagine that I could see the great statue called the Colossus of Rhodes which was given a place among these seven ancient wonders, but as not a vestige of it remains on the island it required a great stretch of the imagination to behold it. But although given this prominence it was not as large or as beautiful as the Statute of Liberty that graces New York harbor. It only took twelve years to build it and after standing fifty-six years it was overthrown by an earthquake and after nearly a thousand years the metal was used for other purposes. The other ancient wonders were the Statue of Jupiter that was made of ivory and gold by Phidias, and the Mausoleum of Artemisia. Both of these have long since passed out of existence.

Brute force is no longer the measure of power or influence. Neither are towering structures or mighty tombs. The standard of measurement these days is the ability to serve. We are learning that the Galilean carpenter told the truth when he said: "He who would be great among you let him be servant of all." Service is one of the greatest words in human language. The man, or the institution, or the magazine that can render the greatest measure of service to the largest number of people is more powerful and influential than all the seven wonders of the ancient world put together.

THE END

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